Our school philosophy is to give our students agency in they are learning. As part of the development of Digital Technologies, I wanted to extend what was on offer to our students by moving towards a programme that is carried out throughout the year.
Term 1 of 2021 was a time to introduce introductory elements to Year 7. The first three weeks of Term 2 was comprised of introducing extended elements to Year 8 that was not previously taught in Year 7. This would act as a foundation for the students to follow their own passion within Digital Tech for the remainder of the year.
Here is an outline of some of the activities and projects that are in development.
Some of my students were experimenting with getting their Maqueen Robot powered by a micro:bit to follow a line... I taught them nothing on how to use the infra red sensors. They worked this code out for themselves!
I posted this video to NZ Teachers (Primary) Facebook page in August 2109 and I got this response from one of the teachers:
"They may have worked it out themselves but you facilitated the circumstances that allowed them to. That's what great teachers do."
This lesson can be adapted for any context. For example, as part of the learning in our Science topic of Space, the Maqueen robots were used to simulate a Mars Rover as part of an extended project with two classes in Year 8. You could also link this to Geometry where you can get your students to make each Maqueen make a different shape and then tape a pen to the chassis to draw that shape on paper.
This project is a natural extension to Maqueen robotics. The students attempt to construct a ‘cardboard car’ using a micro:bit and some DC motors. The code is a variation of the basic code used for the Maqueen lesson above.
This programme involves writing a set of instructions (an algorithm) using a random number generator to select the number of repetitions the users does for a particular physical fitness exercise routine. This will be developed for a digital outcome that will use a Makey Makey and/or a micro:bit to help to incentivise the user to exercise. It is based on an idea developed as part of Kia Takatū ā Matihiko - Digital Readiness programme.